National Indian Head Start Directors Association
Standing Strong for AIAN Children
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Native Head Start
Leadership Quarterly

Winter 2015
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CSKT 39th Annual Head Start Pow Wow
Community of Learning
Fluoride Varnish at Sault Ste. Marie
NIHSDA Webinar: Reflective Supervision
Native Language Revitalization at the NCCLR
Regional Engagement Calls
Don't forget to vote on bylaw changes!

I hope this finds everyone well and recharged! We are already into February and it seems like the time is speeding by faster and faster every year!  I had a wonderful opportunity to Washington DC to present at the STAC (Secretary Tribal Advisory Committee) meeting on December 4.  The purpose of the meeting was to present the FACES study , a project with the TRC (Tribal Early Childhood Research) with Jackie Haight –NIHSDA past president, Michelle Sarche PHD,, University of Denver, Jessica Barnes  PHD, University of Michigan, Maria Woolverton from OPRE, (Office of Program Research and Evaluation), Captain Robert Bialas, Region XI Manager, and WJ Strickland, Senior Program Specialist for Region XI. None of this would have been possible if not for the advocacy of WJ, to whom we owe a giant THANK YOU.  The presentation went well and was well received. We came away from the meeting with a good feeling and also want to highlight this historic moment in AIAN history.
While in DC, both Jackie and I had an opportunity to “walk the hill” and visit our State Senate and House Representatives/staffers.  I visited the office of Doug LaMalfa, who happened to be there, Senator Diane Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer. I shared the challenges of our Tribal Head Start and Early Head Start programs, and how they can support us in their legislative work. Most were very receptive.  NIHSDA is working hard to ensure that our issues remain in the forefront as we get nearer to reauthorization.  
Thank you for the hard work you do every day, and the support you give to NIHSDA.

Patty Brown
President, NIHSDA

L to R: W. J. Strickland, Sr. Program Specialist, AIAN/OHS; Patty Brown, President, NIHSDA; Cathy Abramson, Tribal Council, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Brian Cladoosby, Chairman of STAC and President of NCAI, Swinomish Indian Tribe; Jackie Haight, Immediate Past President, NIHSDA; Jessica Barnes-Najor, Associate Director, Community Evaluation and Research Collaborative, University Outreach & Engagement; Michelle Sarche, Associate Professor, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Colorado School of Public Health; Maria Wolverton, Child Welfare Research Team Leader/Senior Social Science Research Analyst, Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation; Capt. Robert Bialas, Region XI Program Manager, OHS
By now, we hope that many of you have heard about the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES).  Since March 2014, Drs. Michelle Sarche and Jessica Barnes and members of the AI/AN FACES Workgroup, including NIHSDA President Jacki Haight and past-President Patty Brown, have been sharing information about this study with stakeholders throughout Region XI at OHS tribal consultations and with tribal leaders from across the country at the Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes (MAST) and the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) meetings.  

FACES is the premier source of information on Head Start programs and the children and families they serve.  At its core, FACES provides information about children’s school readiness and cognitive and social-emotional growth in Head Start.  FACES information plays a central role in determining how Head Start policies and practices change over time in response to the evolving needs of Head Start children and families.  FACES has been conducted every three years since 1997 with programs in Regions I-X.  To date, however, FACES has not been conducted with Region XI programs.  NIHSDA and tribal Head Start leaders have long advocated for the meaningful inclusion of Region XI in FACES.  Starting this fall, 22 randomly selected Region XI programs will participate in the first-ever American Indian and Alaska Native Family and Child Experiences Survey.  The AI/AN FACES Workgroup – which consists of tribal Head Start directors, child development researchers with experience in tribal communities, federal partners at the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start and Office of Planning, Research, and Mathematica Policy Research – represents a seminal national collaborative planning process for research with Region XI Head Start programs and communities.  The AI/AN FACES Workgroup has worked diligently to design a study that puts the needs of Region XI Head Start children, families, programs, and communities at the forefront and to design a study that will yield data that will be critical in advocating for policies and practices that best serve the needs of Region XI Head Start.  If you have any questions about the AI/AN FACES study, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Michelle Sarche at

CSKT 39th Annual Head Start Pow Wow
The Confederated Tribes of Salish & Kootenai HS/EHS (Montana) held their 39th Annual Head Start Pow Wow. The theme was “We Are Thankful”.   Elders made the rounds at the Head Start and Early Head Start Centers drumming, singing and dancing, making outfits and learning the language!  Each child received a pair of handmade moccasins, had opportunities to taste dry meat as the classroom parents assisted with meat drying.  Soon language classes will begin for their parents so they can catch up to their children’s language learning!

Dance of the little ones
Char-Koosta News, MT - November 20, 2014
By Lailani Upham

The 39th annual Head Start powwow came a little later this year. The little ones celebration was held this past Friday, November 14. The cold weather didn’t hold the parents back from tucking the little guys and gals in the cars with regalia on board to dance the night away at the Ronan Event Center. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Early Childhood Service centers students from Arlee, Polson, Pablo, Ronan, St. Ignatius and Dixon, made their grand entry with teachers, parents and siblings with pride, smiles and lot’s of colors. The powwow was a success through the efforts of teachers and parents, stated Jeanne Christopher, CSKT Early Childhood Director. “A special thank you to everyone that helped in making outfits and moccasins,” Christopher added about the annual family event. The meals were prepared by Kicking Horse Job Corps and the Ronan School District with immediate sack lunches for the little ones and a hot meal later for the adults. “We don’t like the head start children to have to wait to eat, so we make sure they get a sack lunch as soon as they get there,” Christopher said. Nearly 300 sack lunches were prepared from KHJC, and a total 700 meals were served to guests cooked up by Ronan School District cafeteria staff, and several avid fry bread makers in the community brought bread to add to the ham dinner…

Olivia, 3, poses near the flags and eagle staff for her mother before grand entry. (Lailani Upham photo)
One young male traditional dancer keeps an eye on the camera while another gives his intertribal dancing partner an emotional word or two. (Lailani Upham photo)
Tribal Early Childhood Needs Assessment Design Community of Learning
The first Tribal Early Childhood Needs Assessment Design Community of Learning meeting was held on Friday, December 12, 2014, in Washington, DC. The purpose of this meeting was to brainstorm about the potential ways to conduct a study of the availability of all early childhood services to tribes. This needs assessment would be across all tribes (including urban tribal service areas) to identify what early childhood services are in place and what services are lacking. The Community of Learning is charged with developing some design options to conduct the study should funding become available.

NIHSDA board members, Jacki Haight and Ann Belleau, were present at the meeting along with representatives from the Administration of Children and Families, the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center, the Office of Head Start, the
Office of Planning Research and Evaluation, and Child Care.
Left to right: WJ Strickland, Sherry Rackliff, Jonathan Miles, Jessica Barnes-Najor, Nancy Whitesell, Catherine Ayoub, Ivelisse Martinez-Beck, Douglas Novins, Ann Belleau, Melody Redbird Post, Jerry West, Frances Big Crow, Amy Madigan, Cyndi Anderson, Lizabeth Malone, Nicole Denmark, Maria Woolverton, Mary Sprague, Moushumi Beltangady, Stephen Cohen, Emily Modlin, Meryl Barofsky, Anne Bergan, Jaclyn Haight, Aleta Meyer, Katherine Hess, Nina Craig
Fluoride Varnish at Sault Ste. Marie
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Head Start & Early Head Start participated in Fluoride Varnish Training. Ten staff were certified to apply varnish under the direction of Dr. David Drockton, DDS. The program is implementing the varnish applications three different times during the year, in order to assist our Tribal Dental Department in reducing childhood carries with our tribal youth.
Left: Cathy Nash, Family Services Coordinator & Aiden
Right: Anne Suggitt, Early Childhood Programs Manager, Jena Capriciosso, Data Entry Clerk, and Dr. David Drockton.
NIHSDA Webinar: Reflective Supervision and Leadership (2-part series)
Presenter: Jeff Guillory
Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm CST
Friday, February 27, 2015, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST

The Reflective Supervision and Leadership two-part webinar is for those leaders who want to develop reflective, collaborative, problem-solving contexts for dialogue about instruction. The training teaches the strategies, behaviors, attitudes and goals of reflective instructional supervisors that influence classroom instruction.  The fundamental themes include: talking with teachers, promoting teachers professional growth and fostering teacher reflection.

At the heart of the workshop is the opportunity to learn useful ways to identify and utilize employee strengths and put them to effective use.  Valuable teaching skills tools to improve working relationships among employees and customers of all backgrounds and a more effective work environment will be provided.  This program has the power to import a new perspective on dealing with all levels of employee issues.  

Part one on February 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm Central Time (4:00 Eastern, 3:00 pm Central, 2:00 pm Mountain, 1:00 pm Pacific, 12:00 pm Alaska) will provide an overview of reflective supervision process, strategies and benefits.

Part two on February 27 at 11:00 am Central Time (12:00 pm Eastern, 11:00 am Central, 10:00 am Mountain, 9:00 am Pacific, 8:00 am Alaska) will provide scenarios for implementing of reflective supervision.

Price for series (includes on-demand streaming): $200 Members; $250 Non-Members
Jeff Guillory
Equity and Diversity Director
Washington State University

Jeff has many years of experience conducting training for all levels of employees i.e. from senior administration to entry level employees. This proven-effective program has helped many organizations like yours achieve their mission toward building a healthy work environment, community and better service from the tools gained from this workshop.

Jeff resides in Northern, Idaho and is a graduate of the University of Idaho. He has twenty years experience in the Human Resources profession; 10 years in the diversity education profession; and 15 years as a consultant for major companies and organizations in the fields of: Organizational Development; Conflict Management; Diversity Education, Cultural Competency, and Teambuilding. 
Debra Shuey, Research Scientist                                       Ruth Rouvier, Senior Research Associate
OHS National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness
Native Language Revitalization at the NCCLR
The National Center for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness recently welcomed Ruth Rouvier and Deborah Sheuy to their team to work with Region XI to support language revitalization and teaching culture and language in Region XI programs. Over the next year Ruth will lead an effort to develop a set of resources to support language revitalization in tribal programs. In the next few months Ruth will consult with programs throughout Region XI to learn what practices are working and how the NCCLR can best support language revitalization within Head Start. Deborah will provide training on Making It Work! to clusters of programs throughout the nation. CLR will also be participating in ANA and other national language revitalization efforts. This effort enables AIAN programs to focus on teaching their traditional ways by aligning them with the Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Development Framework.  For more information, contact the Center at
Register Online Now! Don't miss the early registration cutt-off.
Regional Engagement Calls
In response to multiple requests from members for more communication, the NIHSDA regional representatives are holding calls to allow their members an opportunity to share local news, bring up any concerns, ask questions, and network as a region.

Below are the scheduled dates/times for each region:
  • Region 1 (Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina)
    Friday, February 20, 2015 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST
  • Region 2 (Minnesota, Wisconsin)
    Friday, February 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm CST
  • Region 3 (Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota)
    Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am CST
  • Region 4 (Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas)
    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST
  • Region 5 (Colorado, New Mexico)
    Monday, February 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm CST
  • Region 6 (Arizona, Navajo)
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am CST
  • Region 7 (California, Nevada)
    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm CST
  • Region 8 (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming)
    Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Region 9 (Washington)
    Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Region 10 (Alaska)
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Meeting Information (same for all calls):
Dial +1 (312) 757-3121
Access Code: 546-314-589
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting
Meeting ID: 546-314-589